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5 Steps to Securing Your Home Wi-Fi Network 

A secure home or small office network begins with a secure Wi-Fi access point.  If your wireless network is still being secured with WEP, an older security technology, you should to upgrade your Wi-Fi access point or router to WPA2 or WPA3 security with AES encryption.

#1  Change the Default Admin Password


When devices come with admin accounts, you should always change the default admin password. The default passwords used by most manufacturers is public information and can be found with a simple Google search!  Many Wi-Fi access points come with a default password for an administrator account or a default device access code that must be entered in order to make configuration or setting changes on the device. Again, you should always change the default admin password or device access code on your Wi-Fi router/gateway to something complex to avoid easy access to your Wi-Fi network.   


#2  Change the Default Network Password    


A new Wi-Fi access point/gateway comes out of the box with a default Wi-Fi network name and Wi-Fi password, which typically can be found on the back or bottom of the device.  You should change the network name to something nondescript and more importantly, change the default network password to a long, strong, and unique password.  If your Wi-Fi router has an app, download the app and you can make configuration changes to your device on its app.  If your Wi-Fi router does not have an app, enter its IP address in your web browser and you can change the default settings from there.


#3  Automatic Firmware Updates

 
Make sure your wireless access point has automatic or scheduled updates enabled.  Your Wi-Fi router has an operating system, called firmware,
that will automatically download the latest security updates from the manufacturer when available.  Scheduled updates are usually enabled by default on most modern routers, but you can confirm this by entering the IP address of your router/Wi-Fi gateway in your web browser and checking its update settings.  If auto updates is not an option, you should check for security updates and download them yourself or upgrade your Wi-Fi router to a newer model.


 

#4  Add a Guest Network


A guest network protects your home network by providing Wi-Fi access for guests that is separate from your local network.  Setting up a guest network is simple to do on most Wi-Fi access points/routers and effectively segregates higher risk traffic from your primary network.  Use the primary network for secure and trusted devices such as your computers and tablets.  Use the guest network for visiting guests, untrusted devices, and smart home devices that connect to the internet but have minimal security, such as Smart TV's.  Segregating network traffic is a cybersecurity best practice, and adding a guest network will improve your home network security as well.

#5  Secure DNS Filter

 

Alternative DNS servers such as Cloudflare with Malware Blocking can improve your Wi-Fi security and privacy by blocking malicious internet traffic based on real-time threat intelligence while not collecting your browsing data.  Unfortunately, most internet service providers do not allow you to change the DNS server on equipment they provide.  However, the quality of DNS filters varies, so you should not rely on a DNS filter alone for internet browsing security.

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